Goldwater Institute Named "Best Capitol Watchdog" for Third Straight YearInstitute always on guard to expose government overreach
PHOENIX - For the third year in a row, Arizona Capitol Times readers have selected the Goldwater Institute as the state's "Best Capitol Watchdog."
"It's our job to keep government in check. Too many government actors think they can operate without boundaries and that the Constitution is just a tired slip of paper--and we're here to set them straight," said Darcy Olsen, president and CEO of the Goldwater Institute. "We appreciate the peoples' trust and look forward to advancing liberty even more in the years to come."
As the state's premier government watchdog organization, the Goldwater Institute fulfills its role through policy research, courtroom challenges and in-depth investigations. Some of the Institute's recent successes include:
· Protecting your right to choose the health care you need. The Institute helped craft the Health Care Freedom Act, which will appear on the 2010 general election ballot in Arizona and two other states. More than 40 other states are also considering a version of the Health Care Freedom Act or already have implemented it.
· Defending free speech. A Goldwater Institute lawsuit prompted the U.S. Supreme Court to block the use of "matching funds" for taxpayer-subsidized candidates, enforcing a lower court order that says the scheme violates the First Amendment rights of privately-funded candidates.
· Identifying effective education reforms. Two years ago the Goldwater Institute recommended the adoption of proven education reforms, including: ending the social promotion of third graders who can't read, alternative teacher certification so non-teachers who are experts in their field can enter the profession, and evaluating schools by letter grades--A through F--rather than the former, misleading "performing" and "excelling" labels. Arizona lawmakers adopted these and other Goldwater Institute-inspired education reforms during this year's session.
· Upholding the state constitution's ban on business subsidies. A Goldwater Institute lawsuit objected to a nearly $100 million subsidy for the CityNorth shopping mall which led to a state Supreme Court ruling that forbids corporate welfare schemes in the future.
· Promoting government transparency. The Goldwater Institute has long led the call for a more transparent government. This year Arizona lawmakers adopted a Goldwater idea to make all state and local governments, as well as school districts, post their check registers online.
The Arizona Capitol Times' "Best Capitol Watchdog" award was presented to the Goldwater Institute Tuesday night as part of its fourth annual "Best of the Capitol Awards."